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Ruto: My biggest regret about Finance Bill 2024 protests

President Ruto throws his communications team under the bus

President William Ruto during a media roundtable on June 30, 2024

President William Ruto was questioned on Sunday about any regrets regarding the government's actions leading up to the protests against the Finance Bill 2024 that turned deadly.

During a media roundtable interview at State House, President Ruto admitted that the government should have communicated its agenda better.

“Do you regret anything at all? What should you have done better, what should your people have done better?” Joe Ageyo asked.

Still holding the view that the controversial bill was beneficial for the country, the head of state expressed that better communication around the Finance Bill 2024 could have prevented the deadly protests and the eventual withdrawal of the bill.

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“Maybe there are things we should have done better. We should have communicated better. I think the biggest problem we have, even with the Finance Bill, is that the finance bill has great benefits for Kenya,” he said.

President Ruto explained that the Finance Bill 2024 was imposing taxes on imported products to help grow the local manufacturing and agriculture sectors.

“I promise you, if I am given a chance to explain to the people of Kenya what was in the Finance Bill and what the Finance Bill would have done for this country, every Kenyan would have agreed with me,” he stated.

“I am sure my communication team failed; our communication architecture did not deliver, did not get the message out to the people of Kenya,” he added.

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He also said that Kenyans took to the streets to protest about other issues that were not in the Finance Bill 2024.

President Ruto, later during an interview with young journalists, invited the youth for a discussion to be held on X, where he will address their concerns.

“I have heard what you have said, I have seen what you have done, and you have made recommendations. Some I will outright implement on cutting down on government largesse and reducing the number of offices.

“I will deal with some of the issues that you have raised. You have given me some difficult choices. I will suggest to you how we can together address the difficult choices that you have put on the table,” he said.

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The president said that he would be as clear as possible during the discussion and urged young Kenyans to work within the parameters of the law and be respectful in order to move forward as a country.

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